HANWOOD has declared they're "not going anywhere" after two superb Joey Schirripa goals proved the difference in a 2-1 Pascoe Cup extra time grand final win over Lake Albert on Sunday.
Looking to defend last year's premiership, the Sharks took the lead after 19 minutes when Kane Baumer hammered home a penalty after Hanwood's Jordan Beltrame was penalised for a hand ball.
But the key turning point of the match came ten minutes before halftime when Baumer, lining up his second penalty after teammate Ben Matthews was fouled in the box, sprayed his attempt well over the crossbar.
Just a minute later former Sydney FC and Newcastle Jets A-League star Schirripa scored a belter from ten metres outside the box, which found the top right hand corner.
Hanwood enjoyed most of the chances thereafter and should have sealed the premiership in their maiden season late in regulation, but striker Nick Kennedy's open shot on goal ricocheted off the right post.
About 22 minutes into extra time the ball fell for Schirripa, who showed composure to place his shot into the near corner.
Hanwood coach Anthony Agresta said the Baumer penalty was a big reprieve for his team.
"Kane's a fantastic player and he hit the first penalty sweet, (but) for us that was a turning point," he said.
"If it goes in we're 2-0 down and it's a whole new ball game, our heads drop completely.
"It (Schirripa's first goal) was top class, you can see the level he's played at and to hit a ball like that, it's something you'd see in the A-League.
"It's a pretty special goal for a pretty special occasion.
"I talked to him earlier in the week. He's played in a few grand finals in the past for us and probably because of his experience he's tried to overplay his hand a bit.
"I think he felt the need to get the club over the line. I told him to just play his role and do your job, he came up big for us."
After they got the green light late to join the Pascoe Cup this year, Agresta insists the club is in the Football Wagga competition for the long haul.
"Absolutely, we're not going anywhere," he said.
"We're happy to be here again and we're here to stay. We want to help build football in the area.
"Not playing that extra game (in finals) probably helped us a bit. We've had battles against Lake Albert all year, they're a fantastic club and we look forward to many battles for many years."
There are fears Lake Albert centre back Ben Mavor may have played his last game after he was carried off with a serious knee injury in the second half.